Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Post of 2009

I'm not much for looking backwards so soon. I'm much more fond of remembering years and years ago. I play let's reminisce with anyone, anytime, at the drop of a hat. And because DH and I have been together for 32 years now (married 25), we can play this reminisce game for a really long time.

That said, let's look forward instead. Where to start?

How about here:



What this is: a threads collection I pulled and purchased one day this year while at Needlewoman East in Falls Church. I was there with a friend who was looking for threads for an original project. And I just started going through drawers when I stumbled on the browns and decided I needed to see what else I could collect from around the store. When I had them all together, I decided that this is an original piece of my own which I shall call "Chocolate Soup" and will be worked on canvas. The shiny metallics didn't photograph too well which is a shame. Some day soon I'm going to mount the canvas and just begin stitching without any true plan. Doesn't that sound like fun? Yuppers. It does.

Here's wishing everyone in stitching blog land a safe and prosperous New Year! I'm off to pop a cork while waiting for the beef stew to finish cooking. No big party plans. Just a nice meal in a warm house with family.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fun!

Spent a few hours reorganizing the stash. Unlike some, I don't have an entire room to devote to this and if I don't occasionally take a stab at putting things back where they belong it devolves into total chaos.

The threads are now all back where they belong. The projects - both in progress and kitted - are all together and some are sorted by category. The crewel work is all in one place. The canvases are together, but in multiple places. That's the fault of the stretchers bars. The three big pieces in progress are together, but not with anything else. But I'm confident I could find whatever I am looking for - at least for right now.

Still need to comb through the Elfa bins. The top two drawers of each unit have become a sort of catch all. And I'm determined to organize them. And quick look through the fabric drawers wouldn't hurt. And patterns and magazines are another thing entirely. So are books.

What I need is some add-on here to count my projects in several categories. Does anyone know of one? When I google search all I find are hit counters for tracking visitors.

To begin:

My headstart are divulging my stash:

My list of perforated paper Santa kits yet to be stitched:

From the Willmaur Corporation - Heirloom Santas:
the Baker Santa and the Equine Santa

From the Janlynn Collector's Series -
Kodiak Santa, Aleutian Santa, Yukon Santa, and Kris Kringle

Bucilla - Needles 'N Hoops - Noel Santa

Mill Hill - Starlight Santas - the Southern Cross Santa
Medieval Santas - Avignon Santa
Appalachian Santa - Smoky Mt. and Blue Ridge Santas
Rocky Mt. Santa - Beartooth, Teton, and Pike's Peak

That's 14 perforated paper Santas. I have one in progress somewhere. One stitched, but not finished, and five on the tree.

What To Do? What To Do?

In breaking news: Here we have a cat paralyzed by a banana!



Why anyone made a catnip stuffed banana is beyond me. But both cats seem to have a fondness for this toy. Elvis doesn't seem to be affected by catnip. But Zoe will come downstairs at night and have a fit over this banana. She'll hiss if Elvis is too close to it. She roll on it briefly, maybe 10-20 seconds. Then run. She is such a spazz.

Next we have the almost perfect pie crust. From Mastering the Art of French Cooking - I present the Pate Sucre Brissee (anyone know how to type accents?) or Sweet Short Paste. This is the recipe I will be using the remainder of my cooking career. Thank you very much, Julia!



Really? Between Blogger and Picassa they had to turn this photo sideways? Sigh. I improved the tree this year by eliminating the tinsel garland and replacing it with poinsettia garland and ribbons. I like this much better.



Had a fun trip to the Stitching Post yesterday. Did not purchase that much...One old Prairie Schooler Santa - the Gardening one from 1993. One Mill Hill Santa - the Southern Cross. And Cherished Stitches "Blueberry Etui." Purchased fabric and fibers for this one - two of the called for threads. And a green colored fabric. Bought some miscellaneous threads. And the Owl pin from Just Nan to go with Humbug I bought a few months ago. Honestly I was very good.

And next door at the Seminole Sampler I bought some small cuts and ultra suede. The fabric is various Christmas/winter pieces for finishing all those ornaments I'm going to stitch, right?!?

Then my friend and I drove off for a wonderful lunch at the Candlelight Inn - a charming upgrade from the sandwich shop we usually visit.

Now what to do today? I think I'll start with trying to stash all my stash back into its allotted space.

Monday, December 28, 2009

On the Goals and Deadlines Front

Because it is that time of year when we talk of things we'd like to do or change or accomplish in the coming new year, I have decided to publicly state a few things instead of just letting them rattle around in my own head.

Stitching goals: Immediate goals within reach - My Quaker Diamond Sampler - which I continue to make progress on. And I have a special little project that I've decided is within reach of finishing in time for Woodlawn. I bought a doll-sized deck chair this past year. I have the fabric and threads to stitch a new seat for it. I believe a canvas version of one of these was at ANG National Seminar a few years ago. Which is what prompted me to purchase that deck chair when I saw it in a thrift shop.

Blogging goals: use more labels! use more photos - which means take more photos.

Near term project: this is for both stitching and blogging. I am going to follow Jeanne's lead at Just String and start posting photos and details of all works in progress. This may take more than the month of January. When I'm finished, I'll have a detailed account of everything started and will move on to everything kitted.

Will this morph into another year of stitching from my stash? When I did this a few years ago, my rule was that I was not allowed to purchase any new projects without finishing an old project. I was allowed to buy fibers and fabric, etc. to finish what I already had. Maybe it will become a less new projects bought year. We'll see how it develops, but it seems I'm not ready to totally commit to this idea.

Tomorrow - off to the Stitching Post's annual inventory reduction sale with a couple of friends.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Perspective from December 26th

One of our Christmas gifts - the snow is melting. The ice that was supposed to rain down from the sky never arrived. It is/was all rain. It's a balmy 45 out there right now all the snow is melting. Parking lot battles will soon officially be done.

We had a lovely day yesterday. Everything that I wanted to do, I did. Made two terrific deserts thanks to Julia Child.

Today will be about doing nothing. My darling girl has offered to make dinner - she has this insane mac and cheese recipe. Uber rich. Calls for ten slices of bacon, five kinds of cheese. Okay. Count me in.

And I am sitting here contemplating making Christmas ornaments for everyone next year. I haven't even counted up how many that would be. But I figure if I can stitch three or four every month, I can do a lot. All this shopping, buying, wrapping, mailing - gets me down. And I love the stitched ornaments on my tree. Is this why I have purchased all those ornament cuts of fabric over the years?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Gift to You (And to Myself)

Perspective. There. I said it. And you might need some right about now.

There is such a thing as good enough.

Nobody is perfect.

M.Stewart? Phaw.

Take a deep breath. Take several deep breaths.

Everything will work out. If it doesn't, you'll have some great stories to tell in years to come.

Though right now my car is telling me my tire pressure is low when it really isn't. And my shoulder/neck is singing me a painful song. And I still have presents to wrap. And I have desert to make (this year I'm celebrating the Julia way. Queen of Sheba Cake and Apple Tart.) and Golden Crescent Rolls to create. I will not panic. It will get done. I will maintain perspective.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kitteh

 
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What kitteh does while all around him are losing their heads.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deadlines

What Jeanne wrote on her blog, Just String, got me thinking. Always dangerous, I know.

When it comes to stitching... I try not to set deadlines. Occasionally I'll have one for finishing a correspondence course, but I haven't even been trying to meet those this year!

I'm curious. Who else does this? Do you set deadlines for your stitching, or are you of the "it gets done when it gets done" mindset?


My take on this:

When I have a piece that has a deadline, be it gift or challenge or class piece or a self-imposed deadline, my mind set changes and I begin to think of it as "obligation" stitching. Sometimes my obligation pieces are still pure pleasure, i.e. my Quaker Diamond Sampler whose deadline is the end the 23rd of January (also known at my house as the day before we fly to London.) Not all obligation pieces terrorize me. But some do.

Somewhere back towards the beginning of December I mentally ditched all my deadlines. Told myself if I finished something - good. If I didn't - so what? the world would not come crashing to a halt.

I did make three deadlines in December - two ornament exchanges and one challenge piece - the bra bag. (Yikes I still need to post a photo of this.) The Quaker piece is a challenge and it might not be finished, but enough will be done to make me happy. (Though if I can get it stitched, I can get it framed and entered at Woodlawn - deadline around Valentine's Day.) After that I have another casual challenge - the Pomegranates and Peas Purse - deadline in March for Regional Seminar.

Let's examine the deadlines I chose to ignore.

Two other ornament exchanges - okay. This was easy as I have not always received ornaments equal what to give, IMHO.

One gift project - somehow progress is very slow on this piece and I am not certain why. May have to consult with a therapist to figure this one out. But by extending this deadline to next Christmas, I will certainly finish it.

My Master Craftsman piece. Oh, what kind of idiot am I? I really want to do this. On the hand, I don't. Hmmm. Where is that therapist? MAYBE someone should start a stitching blog called "The Doctor Is In" and devote it to counseling us wayward stitchers...

Never did work on my Shining Needle Society project. File this one under it can wait.

Hardanger Correspondence Course. I've still got time. And at least I have all the materials. Let's call this procrastination rather than ditched.

Every other ditched deadline I have was a self-imposed deadline. Mostly things I thought would be interesting to finish for the Woodlawn Needlework Show in March. And why do I ditch these things? Mostly it is because something else comes along and just demands my attention. Stitch me! Stitch me!

I'm not perfect. I'm easily distracted. Led astray even. But I've made peace with myself on this issues. And no longer waste time beating myself up mentally. It's all in my head and that's a very interesting place to be.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yeah!

DD made it home through the slush and badly plowed roads. Happy to have her here!

It's amazing how many sight lines are blocked at intersections out there. I took DS to work this morning. Dropped by the P.O. where they were truly a marvel of efficiency. Honestly. When I walked in my number was 17 and they were on number 66. I only got to listen to three songs on my MP3 player (Dixie Chicks, followed by Lady Gaga, followed by Aerosmith's "Pink.") What an interesting combo that was. Perfect match for what was going on around me. Really - the people working there couldn't have been nicer. It was amazing.

Grocery store was another matter. I think it was all the missing space in the parking lot - the space that is meant for cars, but is currently occupied by snow. And once again I will repeat my vow to always use the self-checkout line because these people do not know how to bag.

Off to make meatloaf and baked potatoes. Slushy hugs to everyone!

Ow

I need a full-body transplant. Nothing like removing feet of snow to make you feel that way. I've managed to stretch most of the kinks out. But the one that is going to pain me most is my right thumb. It's either from the shoveling or trying to brush two feet of snow off the cars. Advil, here I come.

Snowplow finally arrived in my neighborhood last night about 22 hours after the snow flakes fell. Now to find out how the Avalon handles in these conditions. LOL

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Sun is coming out right now and it's amazingly beautiful out there.

Time to start thinking snow removal...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Unrelenting

Okay. By noontime we had a foot of snow. Now before dinner, it's more like two feet. If any of you have ever lived here in the Washington D.C. area, you know how bad this is. It is not showing any signs of stopping. Even the squirrels and birds aren't moving out there. And this is supposed to continue for another 6 hours or more? Don't know where we are going to put the stuff when we finally decided to deal with it.

This is ridiculous, Balki.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let It Snow

Because apparently there is nothing I can do to stop it. If I could delay it by a few days, I would.

What goes on here in the metro D.C. area when they forecast a foot of snow is pretty darn amusing to this New Hampshire girl. No shopping carts to be had at Harris Teeter. I had to wait for someone to empty their cart and snag it. I refuse to look at the local news because I won't be able to take the hysteria...

DD is going to have to stay in Massachusetts for a few extra days. She was planning on driving home tomorrow. Bad, bad idea. Sunday won't be any better. So we're looking at Monday.

Boo. We want her home now.

Sigh.

But I've got my supplies and my stitching. And the remainder of the shopping will just have to wait.

Let it snow...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Public Service Announcement for the Month

Did you know that the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. runs a program called "Ask-a-Curator, Ask-a-Conservator"?

Ask-a-Curator, Ask-a-Conservator programs are held the first Wednesday of each month (September through May) from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program is free for Museum members and $5 for non-members.

If you don't live near, or plan a visit to D.C. in the near future and you have a textile piece that you have questions about - you can go here to the American Institute For Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. There is a link to find a conservator which would point you the direction of the nearest source of information.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Catching up on Photos



These first two are pictures of my Quaker Diamond in progress. Work is progressing slowly as I deal with all the other things happening this time of year.




All I could really say when I saw this sight was wow! I present you with this photo of 36 perforated paper santas all stitched this year by a lovely lady in the Loudoun Sampler Guild. I asked for permission to take a photo and post it. This makes my lifetime effort with these santas seem totally pathetic as I have completed exactly 6 of them and have 13 more in the stash. Yikes. I am so far behind...





Lastly we have my ornament for the ornie exchange. This is part of someone else's design and my own. I added the Loudoun Sampler Guild in place of the name on the design. Happy with how this turned out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saturday S.E.X.

Like my stash needed enhancing...but I couldn't resist. Honestly.

I went the Loudoun Sampler Guild's Holiday potluck on Saturday with friends. Oh did we have a great time. In fact, we might have been the loudest table there. Thanks to a story about a dog. But, I digress. And I don't want to interrupt any one's holiday sleep with nightmares.

There were several designers and one shop present as vendors. I started with one piece of Catherine Jordan hand-dyed linen. It's 30 count Ulster linen large enough to accommodate whatever sampler I choose to stitch next.

Then I moved on and decided that I really did need Little House Needleworks Fa-La-La ornament. And thanks to the astute shopping of my friend, Kathy, I also got the last copy of Joyeux Noel by Blackbird Designs. Sixteen designs. I want to stitch nearly every one of them!

Sat down had a nosh. And then continued shopping again. This time I decided that the Queenstown Sampler Designs' Quaker Friends needed to jump into my bag. This is one of Barbara's original samplers and if you look closely you'll see her signature white squirrel in motif on the top right. At this point in time, I am certain that I can't have too many Quaker inspired pieces. More on this later.

At the next table I found that someone had done my work for me. Last September I jotted a note to myself that has been sitting beside my computer. It said plaid pumpkin. And here they are already designed. Samplers Revisited Tartan Pumpkins. Now I don't have to design my own, unless I really, really want to.

Unfortunately I can't show you my biggest purchase - Pamela Darney of Sampler Guild House's Garden Gate Sampler. This is an original Quaker design by Pam done for a guild. Limited edition. I bought the last kit. Can't show it to you because she doesn't have her website up and working yet. And I google image it and found nothing. But trust me. This piece is magnificent.

For added enjoyment I got a copy of the Sampler and Antique Needlework Vol. II book in the gift swap. And - an ornament stitched by Sue Jennings, former owner of Needlewoman East and stitcher extraordinaire. How happy am I?

For the past year or two some of you may have been reading about the dabbles into Quaker stuff I have had. Right now, I am full-blown into it. I'm working on our guild challenge piece that was designed by Pam Darney. A Quaker Diamond. She gave us dimensions, motifs, and then challenged us to see what we could produce. I'm working with Belle Soie on Lakeside Linen and every stitch on this piece is such a pleasure.
Not just a little bit of pleasure. A great big tremendous pleasure. A joy and a pleasure. That silk just glides through the linen like water over marble. I'm in love. With my stitching. There. I've said it. LMAO!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Still Here

I've got photos to load, but someone deleted Picassa. Not me. Anyway have that little problem nearly resolved and will catch up soon.

Meanwhile, I've been to 4 parties in 8 days. And I've got 2 more this week. Plus a guest for dinner tomorrow night.

Which means I've got to finish decorating.

And all I want to do is sit and stitch. Sigh.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Know - Broken Record

The link to the story of the Plimoth jacket from the Boston Globe.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Visitor




In my neighborhood you don't have to worry about the cat if you're a bird. Our neighborhood wandering cat is not that fast. But apparently you do have to worry about this guy. Two different birds had hit our front window by the door, which my cat and I thought was strange. And then 10 minutes later when I got up to go to the bird store this guy popped up from the ground under the bird feeder to the fence. He stayed there long enough for me to take photos. For which I am grateful.

And if you haven't been over to the Thistle Thread's blog to see the Plimoth Jacket in its entirety, now would be the time. She's been unveiled to the world today.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I Can Hardly Believe It

But there I was scanning this scientific article and what did I see?

CoNi-rich particles!

Too funny, Spinster Stitcher, eh?

Pickles from Sunday 12/6

Pickles

Yeah. I know stereotypes. But it still made me giggle.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Back to Mt. Vernon

Today it's back to Mt.Vernon. Twice in one week. Amazing. Saturday evening DH and I were there for the candelight tour. Remember how I said it snowed here on Saturday? Well, east of us, right along the Potomac River, it didn't really stick. Basically, we were walking through rather authentic colonial mud.

This was our first time inside the new visitor's center that opened in 2007. We'll have to return another day to view the exhibits. We were the guests of one of George's dentists. As we were waiting inside to begin, we were treated to some magnificent period music while admiring the many Christmas trees and the wonderful model of Mt. Vernon. Then it's time to go outside were the paths are lit by candles and smudge pots. More music, cookies and hot spice cider and chance to visit with Aladdin, the reeanactor camel. George, apparently, was a terrific host and one year rented a camel for his guests' pleasure.

After our muddy walk approaching the house, we entered and were welcomed by George's manservant. Then Mrs. Washington entertained us in the parlor and gave us her recipe for Great Cake which called for 40 eggs! We met Martha's granddaughter, Nelly, in the hallway, a maid upstairs, a doctor in the study, and the cook in the kitchen. Listening to some of the other people on the tour, I would not recommend this as your first visit to Mt.Vernon. This is meant an entertainment, not so much as a fact finding historical tour. We enjoyed ourselves and by the time we left, the snow had ceased and the stars were beginning to appear.

Today I return there with friends for my other EGA chapter's holiday luncheon. (I know - I have another luncheon on Saturday. A party tomorrow night. A party on Sunday. And that's just this week!)

Who has time for wrapping? not to mention stitching.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Tree is Up and Decorated

And this year I eliminated shiny garland type stuff and I'm very happy with how it turned out. Kitty said thank you and immediately went to sleep underneath it. Other kitty said - what the freak? and tiptoed around the tree skirt like it was going to bite her little toesies.

Met two friends today at a LNS for needlepoint. Bought a Sudberry box for a present. And kitted up a largish Christmas needlepoint. This is going to be fairly ordinary, nothing too elaborate. Had lunch at Crisp and Juicy. Peruvian chicken with sauce. Um. Yum. I don't normally eat the skin, but this time I did. And I can see heading back for more. Soon.

Swung by the second shop on the way home and found an owl canvas and a Norwegian Santa who is of course, a Viking, by Kathy Shcenkel. I'm tossing all my old deadlines to the wind to do what I want to do. Bwah, ha ha!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Way I Figure This

I have a comment from Sharlotte DeVere on my post back in November. I'm going to assume she found me maybe by searching for her name or her design name - The Queen Stitch. Welcome, Sharlotte. Glad to see you again. Hope to see you next Saturday at the Loudoun Sampler Guild. I enjoyed listening in to your class last month and am looking forward to someday taking a class with you. I got to see a finished fob yesterday at the Oatlands EGA holiday luncheon. You did mention when I bought the biscornu kit that there should be enough material there to do the fob. And sometime next year I plan to sit down and stitch both of these pieces.

Yesterday was our holiday luncheon and to be certain we were in the proper spirit for the season, it snowed. Unfortunately that kept a few people from attending, but the majority made it through the snow and cold to join in the festivities.

Here's the ornament that I stitched for the exchange:



This was, I believe, a Prairie Schooler freebie once upon a time. It's a tiny chart.

Stitched on some leftover linen that I didn't keep track of the name of with the called for DMC. Finished with cording made from the DMC and In the Burgundies silk ribbon from the Thread Gatherer.




This is my own design. A Rhodes Shamrock Pin that I will be teaching in February for my EGA Chapter. Splendor silks on congress cloth. Jinny Beyer fabric on the back with some white delica beads.

Off to erect a Christmas tree and bedeck and bedazzle it.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cross Stitch on TV in Cake

Yes. Charm City Cakes did a cake of a Shepherd's Bush stocking.

Here's a link to their blog: CCC blog.

Here's the schedule for the Merry Cakemas episode from the Food Network:

*

Dec 06, 2009

5:00 PM ET/PT
*

Dec 08, 2009

8:00 PM ET/PT
*

Dec 09, 2009

3:00 AM ET/PT

Apparently they did not know that these stockings were not designed by the woman who stitched them. But several astute views pointed them in the right direction and they have given credit where credit it due.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Two Finishes, No Photos

My big push to get things done by the deadlines continued yesterday as I flipped my calendar page and realized that I had nearly missed a deadline. I am supposed to have the finishing done on a pin I'm teaching in February at my EGA chapter. Duh. Last night while listening to and occasionally watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I finished the finishing. NO photos till the weekend.

Today I finished an ornament for the exchange. I think the finishing may have taken longer than the actual stitching, what with the cording and silk ribbon, etc. But it's finished and I like it. I like it enough to be proud of sending it out into the world. Now to go wrap it and find a card to include. Details, details. Again - photo this weekend, most likely Sunday.

I've got one more deadline to meet by tomorrow and I'm not talking about this one.

Then comes the bra bag and a maybe a quick stitching job for a present. I'm hoping I already have a frame that's suitable. Will be good to get the bra bag done and sewing machine off the dining room table.

Then comes the next deadline - decorating for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Waited in Vain

No gutter guy. And it's going to rain, so no clean gutters today either. C'est la vie.

But I did get to Bead Obsessions in Alexandria, VA. And I purchased more beads to make a necklace for my cabochon. And then bought more cabochons and beads...right. Like I didn't know that would happen. Picked up some jasper, carnelian, and sodalite. Looked at the expensive glass beads - there was one calling my name, but it's $25 price tag stopped me. I do have my limits.

And then I figured since I was right near Rt 1, I might as well drive down to In Stitches. Where I found an ornament I had to have. And this silk gauze piece - snow globe - from Kreink. A few skeins of overdyed cotton...two skeins of silk...and some yarn holders for crocheting. I think that was all. Just enough to keep me happy.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Waiting for the Gutter Guy

He's an hour late already. I was told he was starting on my house around 8. For those who have the type of house where you can safely clean your own gutters, I say bully for you. That 3 story drop in the back of my townhouse keeps me off the roof and I don't have a ladder long enough for that. Ah for the good old days when Julie and I would put up our respective ladders and race to see who could finish first while the kids and dog played in the front yards. I believe I have used days of my lifespan raking leaves. Then coming back the next day and doing it all over again. And again. I don't miss it.

After the gutter guy comes and goes, I will head off to continue my search for a special product. And maybe head to Bead Obsession to get beads to match my cabochon so I can make a necklace for it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday, Monday

Last day of November and some people out there are typing furiously trying to reach 50,000 in Nanowrimo. I declined to participate this year, but I did make a donation and thus have my halo. November is not a good time usually for me to be attempting to write 1,667 words a day. (Blog posts and facebook status updates do not count!) It's okay. I made peace with not trying back on October 31st. But I do have a great idea and did preliminary research for a ghost story. Though I may have to check out the Saw movies to be certain I'm not creating a duplicate story. (Pretty sure I'm not.)I've never really attempted the Stephen King type thing before and when I started writing I was scaring myself. Need to develop some detachment...or this could get truly weird.


How's this for a Thanksgiving photo? Our bird - prepared via the spatchcock method. Cut out the backbone, break the breast bone, lay flat (mine was lying on carrots, celery, and onions and covered with fresh sage). Takes less time to roast and the this method seems to equalize the cooking of the white and dark meat.



Still plugging away at the bra bag. I spent some time contemplating it and I'm thinking of undoing some of what I did yesterday. Like I said, this project is going to kill me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still Have My Head

But woke up this morning realizing I have a very quick deadline piece that needs to be in the proper hands by Friday. Bra bag's gotta wait.

Here's photo of Constantinople. Colorway is based on Watercolors - Cheyenne.



My update on Martina Dey's Tsunami Charity Sampler. Colors are loosely based on originals from photo. I'm using Crescent Colours instead of called for silks.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yup. Bra Bag

This thing is going to kill me. Yesterday I got out the sewing machine and created a drawstring top for a closure for it. Then came the difficult decisions. Did I want to try resurrecting my idea of beaded paisley pieces appliqued on to it? Sure enough I did. I spent quite a bit of time on this project. Now I am no longer certain I will use them. But I have four pink beaded paisley pieces ready to be installed. Last night while watching the Big Lebowski, I kind of went in a different direction. Like I said, this thing is going to kill. My head is going to explode. Or something.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Everyone

Everyone made it out alive yesterday. No one succumbed to the turkey coma.

I attempted to make progress on my bra bag yesterday. Thinking about it, I guess I did make progress. But the shape of this thing is killing me. Every idea I have is either wrong, or too painful to stitch on that bra. It is difficult getting the needle through the fabric and padding. I need to find a solution soon as this is supposed to be finished for debuting at the holiday luncheon. Status: progress, but not enough. Off to peruse photos of these online in an attempt to find alternate ideas to the ones in my head. I need the ones in someone else's head. Last chance solution involves feathered boas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The agenda for the day is flexibility. Timing is on a loosely structured belt. And I will not be bothered.

Had a bit of problem yesterday as new recipe for parker house rolls was a total bomb. Not sure why. But new dough is rising right now and soon I will be forming rolls.

A big thank you to all who come here to read my drivel. I'm grateful anyone bothers.

Found time yesterday to stop by the used book store and found a copy of Kaffe Fasset's Glorious Needlepoint. I found a copy of the 1987 edition. Most of the covers I see online while looking are from the 1992 edition and there were apparently at least three different covers on this book. Any. Way. The link goes to his website and if you've never looked around there before it can be quite delicious. I also have his Glorious Color for Knitting and Needlepoint (a signed copy, too!) that I found in the Peabody and Essex Museum in Salem, MA last year. I really wouldn't have paid much attention to this man, except this fabulous designer of crewel work recommended the color book to me a few years back. I don't know if he stills designs for Ehrman, but he did.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Game Time

Got everything finished yesterday that I wanted to. Even made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Son came home with a friend and all the leftovers are now gone. That's good because the last thing you need right before Thanksgiving is a fridge full of leftovers.

I sat down last evening to stitch on my Tsunami Charity sampler while waiting for daughter and boyfriend to arrive from Massachusetts. Was chugging right along on the motif that has given me fits - I have frogged it twice. I thought things were going swell, until I realized that I had again made a mistake. I will be so happy when I finally see this part in my rear view mirror. In fact, I'm afraid when it's finished and framed all I will see is this part that has given me fits for no good reason. I mean, it's straight up cross stitch. Nothing fancy. I don't know why it's such a problem area. With luck the sun will shine again here in Virginia and I'll get a photo.

Off to bake. Just call me Julia today.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Enough

Time for organizing is over and it's time to move on with the cleaning. But by my advanced calculations I should have time soon to set up sewing machine and do some finishing and some mending/altering. As I don't remember the last time I had the sewing machine set up, this should be challenging fun.

As per my usual plans, I haven't got as much done as I wished to have done by this point in time. Big surprise. But I can live with that.

And tomorrow, let the cooking commence. Need to decide which bread/rolls to bake. And what deserts. Pumpkin pie is a definite - with brandy laced whipped cream. I'm always sad to see all those cans of aerosol whipped cream lined up for sale in the grocery stores. Real whipped cream is the way to go. And though I can do it by hand, that's what a Kitchen Aid mixer is for.

And speaking of pet peeves. I just need to say that I am horribly disappointed to find that all the commercially produced and sold plastic gallon sized bags have had their dimensions changed. The products on the shelves now are not long enough to hold a sheet of paper. I am bummed by this development. I suppose I can always order a gross of them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stitching Demons

Thankfully my stitching demons seem to have flown away. I'm still not quite up to speed, but at least I got to stitch with some enjoyment on my part.

As part of my cleaning, I found two old issues of Woman's Day magazine. One is from May 1952. The other one is from December 1954. Back then the magazine cost 7 cents. If anyone is interested in owning them, leave me a comment. I'll send them to you. No cost. I can't tell you how interesting the ads are. I had to explain to my children about vacuum tubes and any number of other things.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Was There Ever Such a Miserable Day?

Do you ever pick up your stitching and everything you do goes wrong? That was my Thursday morning experience with my stitching group. I thought I'd work on my Tsunami Charity sampler as I desperately need to push on this one if I'm finishing it by the end of the year.

First - a section that I had to previously rip out and restitch, was stitched with the wrong color. As I don't like that color, I eventually ripped it out again. This particular motif may kill me. I don't like it and apparently it knows.

Second - okay. Move on to the motif that's in green. I start stitching. Immediate mistake. Rip it out. Start again. Oops. Another mistake.

Okay. This is three strikes and this project is out.

Fortunately I had Constantinople in my bag and I got that out. Yup. Right off the bat I made a mistake - crossing my x's the wrong way.

Made two more mistakes, before finally getting everything to work in a smoother manner.

Meanwhile it was now lunchtime. And I had passed on bad stitching karma.

After lunch, things were much smoother. But still. It's not pleasant when time you've set aside for stitching turns into a battle.

On Friday I finally finished the green motif and started the real problem child over again in a better color. Maybe this will all proceed normally...

On Saturday I cleaned and rearranged the bar. Removed junk. Put things away. Moved bookcases. And for added pleasure rearranged the bookcase with all my stitching/crafting books. I merely rearranged them. Did not take time to sort out that things no longer needed. But now the sampler books are together. The canvas books have their own shelf. The surface embroidery books share a shelf with the ethnic needlework books. Minatures are together. Beading books together. If I want something now, it should be much easier to locate it. But I really need to go through all the magazines. And binders. And binders. And binders. But that's a pleasure I will have to save for another day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Threadworx

Threadworx has a new journal/newsletter/whatever they are producing. You can sign up here. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with a clickable link to verify your e-mail. Will commence in January.

They have also extended their line of fibers to include metallics and perle cottons, even have some #12 - just not enough colors yet. I am as happy with their overdyed cottons as I was with the Needle Necessities.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Didn't Know

And if I didn't know, some of you may not know either.

But the Gift of Stitching magazine has a blog. Throwing down challenges and all sorts of cute ornaments currently being profiled.

And for those who really didn't know, the Gift of Stitching is a digital magazine profiling designs and designers from all around the globe. Delightful stuff. Really.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just a Joining Fool

I can't really say why I have resisted so long joining the Loudoun Sampler Guild other than the Saturday meeting thing that cuts into family time. Last Saturday I went with friends and joined up. (For those who are counting that makes 2 EGA chapters, 1 ANG chapter, and this guild.)

What a fool I have been! I am definitely among needlework sisters here. So many pretty things. So much talent. But I won't waste time berating myself for not joining sooner. Will just enjoy what ever happens from here on.

The project for the day, which I was too late to do, was a scissor fob by Sharlotte Devere based on her black raspberry biscornu which was based on her Piecework Excellence in Needle Arts Award winner in 2008. I was able to buy the kit to do the biscornu. And also bought the kit to do her second award winning design that was in the Sept/Oct 2009 Piecework magazine about miniatures. This is the pin and earrings on silk gauze. I purchased the blue/green version.

While the class was ongoing, I sat and stitched on my Indigo Rose - Catherine Agnes sampler and made some good progress. Had a wonderful pizza with friends after the meeting. The day was so terrific I didn't even mind the rain.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oh My My

What I see outside now...




What I will be seeing in January.



We purchased my ticket to London yesterday so I guess it's official that I am going for a week at the end of January. Any tips, advice, etc. you want to pass my way? I'd welcome anything. I've never been to England. I'll have two full days of my time to spend at the Victoria and Albert Museum and I'm doing my research now. Leon Conrad wrote a great article once upon a time that was published in Fine Lines about what to do as a needleworker visiting the V & A and that has given me a great head start on my plans.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ha, Ha

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Recent Finishes and a Start




First up we have Les Bon Mots. Amazingly there are many webpages explicating the translation of this phrase. It's from Le Petit Prince which I did read in French in prep school.




Ah. From the beaded cabochon class on Wednesday. Beautiful. Terrifically proud of myself. Not that difficult. Takes a couple of hours even for a newbie. My stone is carnelian, though that did not photograph well. Need to go to the bead store and purchase matching beads to make a necklace part.






And lastly, on of my favorite places to fritter away some time, The Waste Knot, has new bags. Clear plastic. Long handles for the over the shoulder carrying. Large enough so my 11 x 11 stretcher bars have plenty of room. Zippered closure so I could safely go out in the rain with my project yesterday.

Inside the bag is my start for Constantinople, a canvas design through ANG. Sage green canvas and the beautiful Watercolours known as Cheyenne.


P.S. Thank you, Coni. I'm touched and will share your moving words with my husband.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Day

There may be some of you out there that still need to thank a Veteran. I can hug mine for you!

Felt slightly guilty at leaving him, but my EGA chapter held its meeting regardless of the holiday. And I went.

And I beaded a cabochon.

And it's pretty cool.

Photo tomorrow 'cause right now it's all gray, dark, dank, and dreary. Remnants of Ida, indeed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Repeating a Link

From the Lake Stitcher's blog comes a story from the Baltimore Sun about a couple's dream house.

This is Barbara Hutson's house of the Queenstown Sampler Designs. Don't forget to look at the photo album attached to the story.

If you ever met Barbara, you know she's a lovely person. And will gladly tell you stop by the house on your way to the beach. I got to meet her one day in the Scarlet Thread when she was doing her shop visits with her newest samplers.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The I Forgot to Take the Photo Finish


This is the birthday present I sent to my sister-in-law back in September. I was in such a rush to mail it, that I forgot to take its photo. She nicely took one for me.

Abbey Lane Designs. Changed things slightly. Of course.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Too Many Ideas

I woke up this morning as DH headed off downstairs. Rolled over and fell back asleep. In the next 45 minutes I swear all I dreamed about was stitching.

I had been on the verge of deciding not to do the President's Challenge for my guild for next summer. But I had a dream that showed me what to do. Also was dreaming of doing something with Judy's crazy quilt hearts that are on her Freebies blog. (See sidebar.)

Dunno. Maybe I should roll over and fall back asleep more often...

Am going to my first ever American Needlepoint Guild meeting tomorrow. Had a nice little trip yesterday with a friend to find supplies. I already had the Watercolours in my stash, but needed to hit two stores to get everything else just right.

Took a drive west of us today. Yes! - there's a Sonic in Winchester. Oh how I have missed Cherry Limeade in the past nine years. And if anyone needs to know, the Potomac Bead Company in Winchester is huge. I just popped in for a quick look around. Did not purchase anything.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NaNoBloMo

I love November for it encourages people to write. For those of you participating in NaNoBloMo and are trying to blog a post everyday of November, I say thank you. You're giving me more to read. Which I love to do.

Started a new project - gifty type thing so no details will be given. It's small. Uses DMC floss. Called for a brownish color fabric, but I'm using Picture This Plus' Heritage. Mine looks more green than brown. I bought a piece of this at Celebrations in NH when I stopped there to visit some friends - was that 2007 or 2008? Doesn't matter. But it's a good illustration of the cross stitch pattern that says in Latin - if you buy the fabric, the pattern will come. I bought the fabric and finally found the pattern.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Alas, No Stitching

Did not manage a single stitch yesterday. But I did visit a bead shop, the Bead Artist, in Leesburg. It's a bright, charming space filled with plenty of wonderful stuff. And a very nice customer service oriented worker bee. I got my not-so-frequent buyer's card and signed up for their e-mail list.

What I was searching for was cabochons. Found a couple, but they're not exactly exciting. Got a book on beading cabochons last week - Beading with Cabonchons by Jamie Cloud Eakin. The only thing I dislike about the book is the author's dance around naming actual names of supplies. Apparently didn't want to commit to writing things like Timtex or naming needle manufacturer's - just referred to them as needles made in England - John James, for those who don't know. edit - Wait. The beading needles' package says Beadsmith. But it is the same colors, etc. as the John James tapestry needles. Have a class in this next week. Yippee!

Also voted yesterday. Always a treat to walk into an elementary school in the fall to vote and have the opportunity to do this on a bright and sunny day and kick through the leaves just like I was eight again. So satisfying.

And attended another cooking demo class at William Sonoma with a friend. Menu was potato and gruyere tarlets, roasted veggies with sage butter, turkey cutlets with gravy, and a cranberry upside-down cake. All good.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sad News

Teresa Wentzler is closing up shop.

TW Designworks
has an announcement from her on her website.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Quiet Weekend

Didn't do much. Tried a new recipe for a savory bread pudding with kale and butternut squash from Food & Wine. Was okay. Needs something though. I added nutmeg, but I think some hot sauce or something would help.

Finally watched the Sex & the City movie. Who wrote this dialogue? They need to be strung up. Loved the fashion. Loved the city. But the characters were sometimes acting out of character. And Carrie would never show up at her wedding with dark roots. You don't see them in the wedding scenes, but you do see them clearly at the Mexican resort the day after.

I stitched on my Quaker diamond project. This is from an EGA class by Pam Darney of Guild House Samplers. Unfortunately no link as her website is under construction. Let's just say she gave a us diamond shape and Quaker motifs and the challenge to fill the diamond. Stitching with the Belle Soie on Lakeside Linen is a total pleasure. It just glides right through the fabric. Didn't have to frog a single stitch. And my diamond matched up with no problems in counting. Always good with something whose dimensions are 90 x 90.

Sun is shining after a weekend of rain. I'm going for a walk now.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Anna's Monday Meme on Saturday

On Monday, Anna at the Stitch Bitch, posted this meme which I finally managed to get around to today.

What's in my stitching bag? Keep in mind that all of this is in a normal sized canvas tote that my daughter bought me in Talkeetna, Alaska.

First - contents of entire bag. Now let's break it down.



My Pomegranates and Peas purse kit with my black bag that has my surface stitching supplies. Needles, thimble, emery, scsissors, screwdriver for the hoops.



Notebook with all kinds of stitchy info in it. E-mail addresses and websites that acquire while away from home. Supplies I need to find. Things I want to remember to look for/at. Etc. Bag of cough drops. Stitch n Zip kit that is my travel project. I don't remember how this left my purse for my stitching bag, but it did. And a jar of M & M's with a top done in punchneedle. Not my punchneedle. Not my candy, either. But as am the least likely to eat the chocolate, I've been carrying the jar of M & M's back and forth to my Thursday morning stitching group.



Contents of my little, clear bag from the Mid-Hudson EGA: 2 pair of tweezers, my favorite dololly, sewing gauge, needle threader, many packages of needles of assorted sizes, thread heaven, magnets, scissors (one pair for cutting waste away knots, one pair for metallic threads, two regular pair that usually end up with projects), hemostat clamp, thread dampener, nail care implements. Lots of stuff in a little bag. I'm lost when I forget to take this with me.




Pop-up ort box. Blue page up holder for chart, kumihimo - making cording at the moment.



My Quaker diamond sampler from Pamela Darney. This is the start of this project and I won't be showing it in public until the end of January. Linen in Vintage Sand Dune, threads are Belle Soie.



Contents of one plastic project container: two Carriage House samplers - The Dainty Wren started on Ink Spot linen and the Gingham Dog and Calico Cat.




Contents of second plastic project container: GPA's Tyrolean stocking and second one whose name escapes me. Saying is in French. I like it.



'Kay. I think that's enough.

Do I usually have so much in my bag? Frequently, yes. I like options. What can I say?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Still Here

I'm still here. I haven't fallen into some blackworkhole that I can't escape from. Just been super busy.

I promise photos of progress on many things.

And will do Anna's Monday Meme on what's in your stitching bag. Maybe I'll get to it by next Monday.

But now I have to run off to return a Quaker sampler to a designer. Long story how I ended up with it. But she works near where I live making this a simple errand.

Photo is of one of the famous American's kneelers from the National Cathedral. This one is for Orville Wright, in case you couldn't guess.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pomegranates and Peas Purse

The P & P purse was my second class at MAR EGA Smart Days in Culpeper, Va this past weekend. This is a lovely Elizabethan style purse designed by a relative newcomer to the world of needlework teaching, Kimberly Servello.

I cannot say enough nice things about her and her class. The piece is spectacular. Her instructions are clear and concise. And she somehow managed to teach more than 20 ladies the proper way to stitch the plaited braid.

She had a slide show of museum pieces and engravings that influenced her design. (Side note: with a bit of luck I will going to London in January and am planning on camping out at the Victoria and Albert Museum where many of these fantastic treasures can be found. Go the museum website and click on textiles. Oh my!)

This photo shows the peas side of the purse. I haven't really studied this side yet as we started on the pom side.



The front, or pomegranate side of the purse. We learned the heavy broad stitch. Not an insult. It's quite a descriptive name. Love this stitch. I think I have stitched something very similar, but not quite the same, on a sampler.

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Here is my progress at the moment. We're working with many different weights of black silk on 50 ct linen. And real gold thread. I think everyone in the class was as thrilled as I was with the project. We've formed a yahoogroup on the spot for support and encouragement. Now I think I'll go make a pot of tea and sit down with this piece to stitch.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Finish




Michael Boren's "Starry, Starry Night" - I only made one small change. I didn't like the beads in the corners and just continued with the silk. And speaking of silk, this is Vicki Clayton's Hand-Dyed. The color name is Magpie Tears which is a brilliant name. But I'm still unimpressed with her silks. Oh yeah, I did make another change - I used 4 strands instead of the called for 3. I just needed more coverage. All in all, I'm happy with it. Going to be an ornament. Will probably make a few more. I've got a couple of exchanges to participate in...

I'll give a longer report on the Kimberly Servello class another time...suffice it to say I finished Starry, Starry Night at 1:00 a.m. Sunday. I shouldn't have had that cup of coffee after dinner. When my alarm went off in the morning, I managed to knock it on the floor, but also turn on the TV and for some reason these TVs came on at a loud volume. I hit the floor and scrambling frantically to turn things off. No snooze alarm for me. File this under reasons why I don't do roommates...



Found this trivet in an antique shop in Culpeper for $1.00. I love it when they use the Xs of cross stitch as a design element.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Region EGA Smart Days

Or I'm in Culpeper, Virginia having a wonderful time.

We arrived in time for a tea party after registering and getting our name tags. Got a pretty beaded scissor fob and a tea cup! A member is a caterer and we had terrific sandwiches and cookies. And got visit with our friends, both old and new.


At 6 p.m. it was time for Michael Boren's class, Starry, Starry Night. Imagine. I'm stitching another blue piece. This must be my blue period. There is this shiny wonderful Kreinik ribbon and braid. And yes, my piece is nearly finished. This is where I am right now.




After a late dinner. A necessary visit to the open 24 hours Wal-mart. And the realization that I had college boys with beer in the room above me, I didn't have a bad night. Stayed up till 1 a.m. talking with a friend. Was too tired to stitch, but not too tired to talk.

Had a nice breakfast and all the coffee I could drink. Then I didn't go to the regional meeting, but sat in the lobby making new friends and stitching. Met up with some more chapter member friends and we all had lunch together, then headed off for our Pomegranate and Peas purse class with Kimberly Servello. This is an Elizabethan style purse stitched with black silk and gold metallics on 50 ct cream linen. The more I stitched, the more I fell in love. Tomorrow morning we have a second class on this piece and will learn the plaited braid and discuss the purse finishing.





Friday, October 23, 2009

Stitching Away

Well. It's been quite a week. In the past two months I've enjoyed listening to friends' accounts of their wonderful times at both ANG and EGA national seminars. Just a tad jealous, I am. But it was my choice not to spend my stitching $$$ on seminar this year.

But it seems I have unintentionally created quite a stitching week for myself. Maybe my subconscious was trying to give me a treat. Or maybe I just never really look at my calendar after write things on it.

Submitted for your examination my schedule:

Saturday the 17th - Bra bag class through EGA chapter at G Street Fabrics

Tuesday the 20th - evening stitch-in at the library

Wednesday the 21st - Needlepoint Tour and Tea at the National Cathedral arranged through EGA chapter

Wednesday the 21st - Stitch-in Public at Panera through other EGA Chapter

Thursday the 22nd - regular Thursday morning stitch-in

Friday the 23rd - Smart Days in Culpeper with MAR (regional EGA event)
First we have a class with Michael Boren

Saturday and Sunday - regional meeting and a class with Kimberly Servello - this project will be quite impressive if I can finish it

Wow.

All that stitching with others time this week paid off and I finished my Spring Peony blossoms canvas. (Yeah. Photo soon...) And the reason I finished it, was I needed some mindless don't need to count or concentrate too much work while chatting.

I'm off to sort and pack for the weekend. Yahooooo!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Egg on My Face

So I'm happy that Yvette found my post. And I feel stupid for getting it wrong. Now watch the other author come and find me...

Now I'm all flustered, but will attempt to move forward this morning.

Yesterday was a Tour and Tea at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. I had a wonderful time with a group from the Washington D.C. EGA Chapter. I've taken several tours at the Cathedral - the highlights, the behind-the scenes tour, the stained glass tour. I did not do the go up in the towers tour because of my fear of heights, but my family did.

I hated hearing the tour guide say that the needlepoint in the Cathedral is the one thing that is not done by skilled craftsmen. Sigh. I think they should say that it's done by volunteers, not paid craftsmen. We learned that they don't toss away gifts so when they decided to redo the seat cushions in the Children's Chapel, they recycled some of those cushions for the boys in the Boys and Men's Chorus. The work that is no longer on display or being used is stored away.

The tea part of the tour was wonderful. We were up on the 7th floor with pots and pots of tea and lovely dainties for nibbling. Terrific views on a nice sunny day, too.

Because You Miss This If I Didn't Highlight It

I got a comment on my post about Yvette's book on Ukrainian drawn Thread. Thank you for having a sense of humor. And looking back I see I attributed the nail choices to the wrong book. I am so sorry. I meant to post that comment about the Beginner's Guide to Bead Netting. My big mistake. I am putting on my dunce cap. (I was honestly impressed that the author hadn't had the acrylic nails thing done that so ladies used to do before appearing on the Carol Duvall Show. And then they would be fumbling around because they weren't used to the darn things.)

Hi, Yvette here, of the Ukrainian Drawn Thread Embroidery book! Photos of my fingernails... There is ONE photo showing a portion of my thumbnail, which looks clean and neat... What more do you want? Sparkly nail-polish?!! :-D (said with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.)

Glad you like the book.

Yvette
http://www.vettycreations.com.au


And I love the book. And I have Yvette's Hardanger book, too, which is also terrific.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday




Happy Birthday to EK!

I thought I'd make her a little present. Here's a Quaker style pendibule I did on 29 ct Glenshee with two strands of Glorianna - I think Autumn Topiary. Also used some Splendor to stitch up the sides. And cheapo ribbon to make the hanger, 'cause I didn't have the $$$ matching Glorianna silk ribbon in my stash.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Some New Acquisitions



I picked these up last week at EGA Chapter meeting on the Ways and Means table.
This first one could be a sweet little thing. I'm thinking this is a cheap way for me to experiment on hand-painted canvas.


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This one is the monster of the deep. This is an old-fashioned European penelope canvas whose size is approximately 2 feet by 4 feet. Will I ever actually stitch it? I don't know. I just felt called to rescue it.




The Geisha could be pretty cool. But I think I have kimono canvas in my stash that needs to be stitched first.





Sorry these last two are sideways. I forgot to reorient them before uploading them. My daughter will recognize this one as a tiger that is similar to her mink blanket.




And lastly. Tucked into one of these canvases so that I didn't even find it until I got home was a plastic bag. It contained a bottle of red ink that is one-third evaporated. An ink pad that's never been used. A set of instructions. A holder. And a alphabet sheet of rubber stamps also unused where the letters are formed by x's. According to the instructions you were supposed to stamp the letters on fabric to create designs to cross stitch. They look to be about 10 x's to the inch. These will be fabulous for making cards, 'cause there is no way in hell that I'm making my own stamped fabric for cross stitch!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Me and Elvis



I think this photo was taken a couple of years ago. My hair is much longer now.
But I was just browsing DH's laptop and found this. This cat is such a unique personality. He usually has very set habits, but this morning Elvis seemed rather out of sorts. First I found him in the powder room. Then I found him in the laundry/storage room. Then he was milling about meowing like something was wrong. I think he's as tired of the rain as I am.

I have to tell you about my class today. It was how to turn a bra into a purse. There were eight students plus the teacher meeting at one of our local fabric stores. Before the day was done we had nearly all the clerks and even some of the customers popping in to see what we were doing. (Yes, this was through my one of my local EGA chapters.) We all had purchased very different bras and had very different ideas on what to do. We started by removing straps and any fabric we deemed excess. Our teacher had recommended we purchase at least a C cup with wire. Then we decided whether the wire was going to be on the bottom or at the opening. Then we got to go shopping to add to the embellishments that we brought. We had a tremendously hysterical time - that's how we attracted attention - we were all laughing so hard. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun with a needle in my hand. All of us left with our projects in progress with plans to use them at the December luncheon. It was joyous enough for me to forget how gray and dreary and absolutely miserable it was outside.

P.S. If you want to see some photos, just google search bra purses. You'll find ideas and photos. Some are quite amazing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Still Raining

And cold. But at least it's not snow. I don't know what people would do here in northern Virgina if it snowed in October. Maybe assume it was a sign of the apocalypse?

I still haven't taken photos as I am still waiting for the sun to shine. But I found something new that is old and very interesting.

I put in more background on my peony canvas last night. And replaced my awful color choice on Catherine Agnes yesterday. It definitely looks better. Now back to practicing my detached buttonhole. Decided I need magnification on this stitch in order to meet my expectations.

And had fun running around Michaels yesterday finding embellishments for my bra to purse class. I'm excited. I found a black bra with pink trim on sale at JCPenneys - 40DD - definitely wouldn't fit me. I'd have to use socks or tissues to pad that one. As per the teacher's recommendation I'd been haunting the clearance rack at Kohl's but the colors were boring. They were great colors if I wanted to wear it, not turn it into a purse.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Got Nothing



Sometimes I just can't think of a title...

Got up early and did the return college boy to school. And traffic was blessedly light on I-95 heading into D.C. so I got my EGA meeting with oodles of time to spare. Today was a demonstration by Betsy Morgan of finishing techniques. No links as Betsy doesn't have a website. But I finished her Nantucket Morning Glory basket a few months back.

She had the wonderful let's make 4 color cording with a battery powered thingy from Lacis. If you've never been to the Lacis website, run over there right now. I guarantee that there are things there that you don't even know you want. Yet. And I promise myself from here on to practice due diligence with cording and tassels. No more slap dash it together.

Yeah. I bought some handpainted canvases at the Ways and Means table. Including a monster of a penelope canvas. Not sure if I really wanted to stitch it or I just wanted to contemplate it. Either way. It's mine now. When the sun decides to shine again here in Virginia, I'll take a photo. (I hear this may be many days from now. Sigh.)